Japan is witnessing an incredible rise in tourism in the past few years and the national government is giving much credit to Japow – the famed high quality powdery snow that can only be found in the Land of the Rising Sun. In most cases, many foreign visitors know where to go for the unique experience of holding on their hands such a wonder of nature – in Niseko.
The increasingly popular ski resort in Hokkaido boasts of the majestic Mount Yotei as a compelling backdrop, which is proving irresistible to a huge amount of travellers from abroad. At the end of 2016, Japan welcomed more than 20 million tourists and many took the trip wanting to see what Japow is all about in the ski resorts that have been emerging in the winter destinations of the country.
Essentially, a skiing revival is underway and Tokyo intends to capitalise on the trend.
“Japan’s ski resorts are on the upswing again, thanks in large part to the boom in foreign visitors. The country saw tourists cross 20 million for the first time in 2016,” Quartz Media said in a report.
The Tourist Lure
What draws in these visitors in great numbers? According to the same report, foremost of the reasons is the distinct quality of snow that supposedly one can only see in Japan. The heavy influx of visitors was believed triggered too by the rising interest on winter sports, thanks to the recently concluded Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea.
In fact, there were reports that during the same sporting event a number of American athletes made a short stop to Japan and checked out all the buzz on Japow. It was assumed they went home not disappointed and the same scenario is likely to be replicated when China takes the torch for the 2022 edition of the winter fest.
Tourists make their way to Niseko and other ski resorts in Japan mainly due to the easy access provided by these vacation destinations as facilitated by the government. Quartz said the boom in Japan’s tourism industry has resulted to noticeable adjustments that Japanese towns and cities willingly embraced.
In Niseko, for instance, local stores are now selling Vegemite, which is a popular Australian spread. The presence of the food indicates that Aussies are now considered as Niseko regulars. The report by Quartz showed that visitors from Down Under are indeed flocking to Japanese ski destinations, followed closely by Chinese mainlanders, Hong Kong nationals and Singaporeans.
Direct And Peripheral Benefits
As Australians and other nationalities continue on their pilgrimage to Niseko, the ski resort inevitably builds on the benefits of the ongoing tourism boom. The Niseko nightlife now counts the foreign visitors as regular habitués, indicating that the phenomenon is translating to the well-being of the economy – both for Niseko and Japan in general.
There are new sub-industries too that have been generated by the roaring tourism industry. The Japan Times reported that due to the high traffic of tourist arrivals in Niseko, medical interpreters are currently in high demand.
The interpreters are proving crucial as they facilitate better communication between the foreign tourists and Niseko’s local community. The spike in tourists wanting to go skiing also led to numerous accidents and during these times, the medical interpreters came in handy.
They are instrumental in assuring tourists that they’re being listened to and their medical needs will be provided with speed. More importantly, the interpreters act as representatives of Japan thus giving the country a positive impression.